If you like your comic book movies with a whole lot of action and very little story, Bloodshot is the movie for you. As for me, I just kept getting annoyed. Any potential this movie had was totally wasted.
Bloodshot is the code name for Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel), a soldier killed in action and brought back to life by the RST corporation. His memory has been wiped clean, but he’s jarred by a flashback of his wife’s death and driven to seek revenge. Ray’s nanotech-driven resurrection gives him super-human strength, computer-aided intelligence, and the ability to rapidly heal himself when injured.
Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce) is the brains behind RST, served by his own personal army of technology-enhanced soldiers. KT (Eiza Gonzalez) can breathe underwater and is impervious to inhaled weapons, Jimmy (Sam Heughan) has had his damaged legs robotically replaced, and Tibbs (Alex Hernandez) was given enhanced vision after he was blinded.
As for Ray, it turns out his multi-billion dollar medical treatment wasn’t just to save his life. He’s being manipulated by an evil genius! Totally original story idea, right? Don’t worry. KT has had just about enough of being one of the bad guys and she’s ready to help Ray get out of there. Romantic sparks there? Could be!
The fatal flaw, in a movie hemorrhaging from dozens of little defects, was a total lack of character development. We learned a little about Ray, although we never know what is real and what is an implanted memory. Everyone else? We get nothing more than a passing mention of their backstory. Jimmy was constantly angry and had a passionate dislike for Ray. Did they bother to ever explain why? Nope. There’s no need to explain motivations when we can squeeze in another slow-motion action sequence!
We did get a few moments of solid comedy from coder Wilfred Wigans (Lamorne Morris). Too bad those moments were ruined by the insistence of doubling down on the same jokes, over and over.
Most of the actors did well enough with the story and the direction they were given. Diesel, however, couldn’t deliver on his more emotional scenes. Kicking ass? Sure, he had that down. Dealing with any of his non-rage emotions? Not so much. The sun-dappled moments with his wife (Talulah Riley) from early in the movie were uncomfortable, boarding on unwatchable.
At times Bloodshot seemed all too aware that it wasn’t going to be a great movie. They slipped in more than a few meta-references to let us know they were in on the joke. Yeah, sorry. Not buying the laziness of letting me know that you know your film is a ripoff of a half dozen other movies. Throwing The Terminator, The Matrix and Robocop in a blender doesn’t actually create a good movie. Who knew?
Let’s be honest: if you’re going to the theater to see Bloodshot, you’re going for the action. Bloodshot is full of it. That doesn’t mean they were good action scenes. The editing was a bit all over the place, and it seemed like the intention was to make things look cool rather than have the scenes make any sense. So yeah, the one thing the movie kind of has going for-lots and lots of action-doesn’t really deliver.
If I haven’t sufficiently warned you away, you can catch Bloodshot in theaters on March 13, 2020.
Based on the bestselling comic book, Vin Diesel stars as Ray Garrison, a soldier recently killed in action and brought back to life as the superhero Bloodshot by the RST corporation. With an army of nanotechnology in his veins, he’s an unstoppable force –stronger than ever and able to heal instantly. But in controlling his body, the company has sway over his mind and memories, too. Now, Ray doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not – but he’s on a mission to find out.